Wednesday, September 29, 2010

One Year Anniversary

Twin Cities Metal turns one year old today! Quite honestly, the site has taken off to a much greater extent than I expected and I'm grateful for the support shown by all the readers, regular visitors, bands, promoters, and press contacts. I'm amazed at the visitor statistics from all over the world, especially considering I have little to no time to active promote the site. The number of visitors to Twin Cities Metal continues to steadily grow every month, and it's gratifying that I continue to reach new readers. The feedback I have received from everyone has been nothing but positive.
It's been a fun journey for me in adapting what I used to do in print format to the web. I have a very time-demanding day job, and I maintain the site solely because I love hard rock and metal and hope to help foster a strong music scene in Minnesota. By my count, the past year has seen 266 posts (22.2 per month), 64 album reviews (5.3 per month), and 23 concert reviews (1.9 per month). As I've become accustomed to regularly updating the site I've begun to feature interviews and additional news items about bands playing in the Twin Cities. No major changes are planned for the immediate future, but I do intend to incorporate more band interviews.
Thank you for your interest in Twin Cities Metal, and I appreciate your continued support. If you like what I'm doing, all I ask is that you bookmark the site, tell your friends, spread links through email, Facebook, or Twitter, follow me on Twitter, or simply stop by on a regular basis. Cheers!

Monday, September 27, 2010

October 3 BLACK LABEL SOCIETY Gig Moved To Epic

The Roy Wilkins Auditorium website has posted an announcement that the Black Label Society concert scheduled for this Saturday, October 3 at the St. Paul venue has been moved to Epic in Minneapolis. All tickets will be honored, and Clutch, Children Of Bodom, and 2Cents will still open the show.
This is undoubtedly bad news since obviously ticket sales were slow for the 4,000-5,000 seat Roy Wilkins Auditorium, as indicated by moving this to the much smaller Epic nightclub. I've always hated the "long-room" layout of Epic (formerly the Quest Club), with its view-obstructing pillars lining the length of two sides of the floor. On the upside, it's always great to see bands in smaller venues but Epic is a less-than-desirable venue.

Judas Priest's "The Hellion" Used In Honda Commercial

During the brief amount of football I had the chance to watch yesterday, the glorious chords of "The Hellion" by Judas Priest caught my ear. Turns out that Honda created a TV ad for their Odyssey SUV that features "The Hellion" and a lot of pyro to highlight its sound and entertainment system. It's actually a pretty cool ad, but I agree with the guy that posted this on YouTube that Priest should have been on the car's video screens! Check it out.

Saturday, September 25, 2010


Christian Mistress – Agony & Opium
20 Buck Spin, 2010
Hailing from Olympia, Washington, Christian Mistress is a new band out to make their mark with a debut album that evokes the spirit and sound of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM). Agony & Opium also reminds me at times of Ample Destruction-era Jag Panzer. Much is being made of the album’s defiantly low-tech sound, but don’t mistake that for a poor-sounding record. Rather, Christian Mistress has successfully captured a raw, energetic sound that fits the music. With six songs that clock in around 28 minutes, this is the type of short album that I wish more bands would make. Fans of Thin Lizzy and obscure NWOBHM bands will definitely lust after Christian Mistress. “Black Vigil”, with its NWOBHM-type boogie, and “Desert Rose”, which features thumping rhythm and plenty of lead guitar leads, are my personal favorites. Opening track “Riding On The Edges” sets the tone for the album with its fast beat and catchy guitar line. Twin guitar leads and solos are prominent throughout, especially on “Home In The Sun” and “Omega Stone”, a somber song that builds into a massive guitar solo that brings fire to the remainder of the track with a fast riff. “Poison Path” is the weakest track here, but it’s not a bad song, either. The haunting vocals of Christine Davis really set Christian Mistress apart, and the echo on her tracks lends a unique air to Agony & Opium. It took me a few listens to fully appreciate what Christian Mistress is trying to achieve on the album, but now that it has sunk in I like Agony & Opium much more that I initially did. If you appreciate the sound of late 70’s/early 80’s British metal, Agony & Opium should be considered mandatory listening.
Christian Mistress performs Saturday, October 2 as direct support to Thrones with Seawhores at the Turf Club in St. Paul.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Stolen KATATONIA Guitars Recovered By St. Paul Police

Sweden's Katatonia posted yesterday on their website that the two guitars stolen from Station 4 in St. Paul on Saturday, September 18 have been recovered by the St. Paul Police. The band states that "We won't get into the murky ugly details right now as the priority was and is that we get them back on the road for our shows and then onto the competition winners, so let's celebrate that for now while the police continue to do their job." It sounds like the investigation is ongoing, and this is certainly great news for the band.

DIVINITY Embarking On Canadian Tour

For the Canadian readers, the technical death metal band Divinity is about to set out on a Canadian tour to promote the release of their second album, The Singularity. This is one amazing album! The Singularity is hands down one of the best technical death metal albums to come out in some time. The band released the album themselves at the end of 2009, and it was recently given a proper release through Candlelight Records. Get the album, and if you live in Canada get to one of these shows! The best that US fans can do is if you happen to live in Detroit and can make it to the show in Windsor. Here's the complete list of current Divinity tour dates, and I've embedded their "Beg To Consume" video to view.
September 25 - Calgary, AB, MacEwan Hall, Noctis IV Festival
September 30 - Chicoutimi, QC, Le Bunker w/Beneath The Massacre
October 1 - St-Hyacinthe, QC, Bar Le Trash, Trash Metalfest w/Beneath The Massacre
October 2 - Victoriaville-Warwick, QC, Salle Du Canton w/Beneath The Massacre
October 3 - Québec, QC, L'Impérial De Québec w/The Black Dahlia Murder, Goatwhore, Arkaik
October 4 - Rimouski, QC, L'Aprés-Match w/Dischord
October 6 - Saint John, NB, Sunstar Lounge w/Panic And War
October 7 - Sherbrooke, QC, Bar Le Magog w/Deciet's Embrace
October 8 - Montreal, QC, Foufounes Electriques w/Endast
October 9 - Toronto, ON, Hard Luck Bar w/Hallow Die
October 10 - Windsor, ON, Coach And Horses w/Goliath, Reasons Lost
October 11 - London, ON, Moon Over Marin w/ Darkness Rites
October 12 - Guelph, ON, Club Vinyl w/Terrorhorse, Darkness Rites
October 13 - Brantford, ON, Ford Plant w/Terrorhorse, Darkness Rites
October 14 - Cambridge, ON, The 515 Concert Club w/Terrorhorse, Darkness Rites
October 15 - Trois-Rivieres, QC, Batisse Industrielle, Metalfest 10 w/Depised Icon, Misery Index

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Two Great Local Shows This Weekend

There's certainly a huge number of national and international bands coming to town in the next couple of months, but you shouldn't forget about the killer local metal bands we're fortunate to have here. There's two great local shows coming up this weekend that you should make every attempt to attend.
Tomorrow, Friday, September 24, there's a rare metal show at Star Bar & Grill in Columbia Heights. Ill-Gotten, Alation, Ugly Beauty, and Bloodtrust are all on the bill. I'm a big fan of Alation (demo review and update, show review w/video and pictures), and I'm looking forward to seeing them again. I haven't seen the other three bands yet, so it should be a fun night.
On Saturday, September 25, local Metal Blade recording artist Epicurean returns to live action at Robert's in Mounds View. They've lined up an equally heavy bill with Dying Euphoria, A Moment Without, Iron Thrones, and North Sky. It's been a while since Epicurean has played live, and they're billing this as their "comeback show". Hopefully we'll get the chance to hear some new songs they've been working on for their second album. If you were planning on going to Kamelot on Saturday, head out to Robert's instead since Kamelot has postponed their show.

Two Minneapolis Stores Make Rolling Stone's Top Record Stores List

A blurb at the City Pages website brought this to my attention. Rolling Stone has published "The Best Record Stores in the USA: The Top 25 Spots for Unique Vinyl and CDs", and two Minneapolis stores made the list: Electric Fetus and Hymie's Vintage Records. City Pages notes that the author, Michaelangelos Matos, is a "former Minneapolitan and onetime City Pages contributor." Congratulations to Electric Fetus and Hymie's are certainly in order.
I know that Electric Fetus is iconic here in Minneapolis, but the Uptown location of Cheapo's is a far better shop. Cheapo's easily has the largest selection of used CDs and LPs, and their prices are great. Anyways, go check out the list to see if a store in your city made the cut.

Jerry Raskin's Needle Doctor Relocating To St. Louis Park

I came across a couple items in the local newspapers here this week that are of interest. First, if you're a vinyl junkie like me, then you've likely heard of Jerry Raskin's Needle Doctor (, a Minneapolis-based retail and mail order shop that claims to have the world's largest selection of turntable equipment including turntables, needles, cleaners, and DJ equipment. Tucked away in the Dinkeytown neighborhood, it's a cramped little store always bustling with activity. Think vinyl is dead? It's amazing to walk into the store at any time and see around ten people hunched over computers, processing internet orders and talking with customers on the phone.
The Needle Doctor has outgrown their current location, and will shut down this Friday to relocate to more expansive space at 6006 Excelsior Blvd. in St. Louis Park, Minnesota. The new store is slated to open this Monday, September 27. If you have a pile of vinyl but need a new turntable, needle, or any supplies, this is the place to go either in person or online. You can read a recent article about the shop at the Minnesota Daily.

TOMMY STINSON Launches Charity Auction

Current Guns N' Roses and Soul Asylum bassist and Minneapolis native Tommy Stinson has organized a charity auction to benefit the Timkatec schools in earthquake-ravaged Petion-Ville, Haiti. Charitybuzz is hosting the auction; a link the plight of Haitians and what Tommy is doing to help is here, and the list of all 14 auction items is here.
Included in the auction items are two vacations in the Bahamas, a couple of Tommy's basses and stage clothes (I love the plaid suit!), a guitar signed by The Replacements, a Chris Mars art package, and packages of tickets to shows at First Avenue and the Fine Line Music Cafe in Minneapolis.

GUNS N' ROSES Archive Story

Slash is bringing his solo band to the Medina Entertainment Center in Medina tonight, Thursday, September 23, and I had to use this as an excuse to tell a story about a Guns N' Roses show in Iowa City, Iowa back in 1993 on the Use Your Illusion tour. Here's a scan of the flyer for the show and my backstage pass.
I was helping out with the production company, and was initially supposed to be an usher for the concert. When I got to the arena in the early afternoon, the caterer needed an extra hand so I quickly volunteered. This had to be more interesting than standing around on some stairs all night. This turned into one of the most bizarre concert experiences I've had. Basically, I did all the crap work for the caterer that was brought in from Chicago - I washed dishes, set up meals for the band and crew, and dashed around doing odd errands.
Things quickly turned funny when I had to help set up the band's dressing rooms. Carver Hawkeye Arena served as a hub for athletics at the University of Iowa, and I first saw the band's crew ripping down every athletics picture, plaque, and lettering off the walls. It was later reported that at least $10,000 in damage was done to the backstage area. Cases of beer were stacked floor to ceiling along the entire wall in the dressing rooms but apparently this wasn't enough. Since I was the only local person there, several hundred dollars were stuffed into my hands and I was given a list of hard liquor to buy. The caterer whispered to me to also buy some porno mags, so of course I got the most nasty, sick ones I could find and set them prominently out on the band's tables! After we finished setting up the dressing rooms, the highlight of the night was spotting Queen guitarist Brian May as he entered the building and getting to briefly chat with him, axe in hand.
I never did see any member of G N' R in the backstage areas, but at least I was given a cool crew tour T-shirt. The only break I had was being allowed to watch about 30 minutes of the show from the soundboard area, but I was too exhausted to care at that point. More dishes had to be washed! I vaguely remember finally leaving the venue around 2 or 3 in the morning, completely drained and physically sore. I think the caterer did give me a wad of extra cash at the end of the night, but it's the memories from this that live on!

Earache Offers Free ANNIHILATOR Download Compilation

This is simply too good of a deal to pass up. Head on over to the Earache Records website ( to download a free, 14-track compilation from the long-running Canadian technical thrash band Annihilator. Entitled Total Annihilation, this compilation is to promote Earache's reissue campaign of six Annihilator albums: King Of The Kill (1994), Refresh The Demon (1996), Remains (1997), Criteria For A Black Widow (1999), Carnival Diablos (2001), and Waking The Fury (2002). These six albums cover a broad range of creative styles and sounds, not to mention a revolving cast of band members centered around guitar phenomenon Jeff Waters. Even on an album like Refresh The Demon, not Annihilator's best album by any means, you can always be guaranteed to hear amazing riffs and innovative solos. "City Of Ice" is my favorite track from that album. Hands down the best in this reissue series is Criteria For A Black Widow and Carnival Diablos. Criteria For A Black Widow ranks up there with the first two albums, Alice In Hell (1989) and Never, Neverland (1990), as a bonefide thrash classic - be sure to check out "Loving The Sinner" and "Bloodbath". After Never, Neverland Annihilator seemed to drop off the face of the earth in the US, and it's a real shame that they aren't more widely known here. Alice In Hell was actually Roadrunner's top-selling debut album for ten years until Slipknot came along, and Annihilator continued to tour Europe with the likes of Judas Priest and Pantera. Jeff Waters also nearly joined Megadeth on two different occasions - imagine having to choose between Jeff Waters, Diamond Darrell (as Dimebag was then known), and Marty Friedman for your band! Total Annihilation serves as a great introduction to some key parts of the Annihilator catalog that are worth your time, so go download this now.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

STAIND Vocalist Aaron Lewis Lines Up Solo Acoustic Tour

The complete list of solo acoustic dates for Staind vocalist Aaron Lewis has been released. The routing includes a stop at MPR's Fitzgerald Theater in downtown St. Paul on Tuesday, October 26. Tickets for the St. Paul show are already on sale. Here is the full tour itinerary:
October 7 - Boston, MA, House Of Blues
October 8 - Sayreville, NJ, Starland Ballroom
October 10 - New Bedford, MA, Zeiterion Theater
October 11 - New York, NY, Best Buy Theater
October 12 - Philadelphia, PA, TLS
October 14 - Portland, ME, Merrill Auditorium
October 15 - Baltimore, MD, Ram's Head Live
October 17 - Hershey, PA, Hershey Theater
October 18 - Cleveland, OH, House Of Blues
October 20 - Chicago, IL, House Of Blues
October 21 - Munhall, PA, Carnegie Music Hall
October 23 - Milwaukee, WI, Pabst Theater
October 24 - Indianapolis, IN, Egyptian Room
October 26 - St. Paul, MN, MPR's Fitzgerald Theater
October 28 - St. Louis, MO, The Pageant
October 31 - Dallas, TX, Palladium Ballroom
November 1 - Houston, TX, Verizon Wireless Theater
November 2 - Abilene, TX, Paramount Theater


Roadrunner Records recording artist Mutiny Within has officially cancelled their upcoming tour supporting Nevermore on a massive North American trek. Mutiny Within is currently looking for a full-time drummer, and the "slow visa process" derailed the rehearsal time needed for the temporary drummer hired for the tour. Mutiny Within's self-titled debut album was previously reviewed here (7/10). The tour kicks off this Friday, September 24 in Seattle, and will hit Station 4 in St. Paul on Sunday, October 31. Warbringer and Hatesphere are still on as support acts for Nevermore and there's been no word on whether Mutiny Within will be replaced. The full itinerary for Nevermore, Warbringer, and Hatesphere follows:
September 24 - Seattle, WA, El Corazon
September 25 - Portland, OR, Hawthorne Theatre
September 26 - San Francisco, CA, Slim's
September 28 - Hollywood, CA, Key Club
September 30 - Santa Ana, CA, Galaxy Theatre
October 1 - Ramona, CA, Ramona Mainstage
October 2 - Mesa, AZ, UB's
October 3 - Tucson, AZ, The Rock
October 5 - Denver, CO, Bluebird Theater
October 6 - Tulsa, OK, The Marquee
October 7 - Ft. Worth, TX, Ridglea Theater
October 8 - San Antonio, TX, Scout Bar
October 9 - Houston, TX, Numbers
October 11 - Austin, TX, Emo's Annex
October 13 - Atlanta, GA, The Masquerade
October 14 - Raleigh, NC, Volume 11
October 15 - Springfield, VA, Jaxx
October 16 - Worcester, MA, The Palladium
October 17 - Philadelphia, PA, Trocadero Theatre
October 19 - New York, NY, Gramercy Theatre
October 20 - Montreal, QC, Les Foufounes Electriques
October 21 - London, ON, London Music Hall
October 22 - Toronto, ON, Opera House
October 23 - Cleveland, OH, Peabody's Downunder
October 25 - Pittsburgh, PA, Diesel Club Lounge
October 26 - Louisville, KY, Headliners Music Hall
October 27 - Detroit, MI, Blondies
October 29 - Chicago, IL, Reggie's Rock Club
October 30 - Milwaukee, WI, The Rave
October 31 - St. Paul, MN, Station 4
November 1 - Winnipeg, MB, Royal Albert Arms
November 2 - Regina, SK, The Exchange
November 5 - Edmonton, AB, Pawn Shop

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

KAMELOT Poetry Contest

You know by now that Kamelot's North American tour has been postponed due to singer Roy Khan's illness, so I'm waiting here on word that their show at First Avenue in Minneapolis will be rescheduled. Their new album, Poetry For The Poisoned, was just released, and Kamelot has announced a poetry contest. Entries should be submitted by email to by Thursday, September 30. You can create any form of poetry that is Kamelot-related, such as a song, an album, or what the band's music means to you. The band will select their top five favorites, and these winners will receive a Kamelot T-shirt, an autographed poster, and more.
Now for some silliness! I decided to have some fun with this contest and thought I'd share my poetry entry. Since I went to Steelheart's recent show at G.B. Leighton's Pickle Park in Fridley (review is coming shortly!), I thought I'd pay homage to Kamelot by adapting a Steelheart song. This is intended to be sung to Steelheart's classic power ballad "I'll Never Let You Go (Angel Eyes)". You can follow along while watching Steelheart perform the original at their recent show in Fridley.
I'll Always Crank It Up (Kamelot)

You mean a lot
Such a sound that lights up my life oh
You're a band come true
I love each and every tune
And I'll always, always crank it up
I will always crank it up

First time my ears heard Roy's voice
All my screams were answered
First time I heard Tom's guitars
My loyalty I do pledge

I'll always crank it up
Your band's the greatest find
You're the only band for me
You're all I hear
And I'll always, always crank it up

My blood runs hot
On the songs you share with me
You never let me down
You're always in my mind
And I'll always, always crank it up
I will always crank it up

When the amps cease to rumble
And the curtain starts to fall
The songs stay close within me
And give me strength to soldier on

I'll always crank it up
Your band's the greatest find
You're the only band for me
You're all I hear
And I'll always, always crank it up

Monday, September 20, 2010

KATATONIA Guitars Stolen At Station 4 Saturday

Blabbermouth is reporting that Katatonia had two guitars stolen at their show at Station 4 in St. Paul this past Saturday night (September 18) with Swallow The Sun, Orphaned Land, and Cold Colours. Despite this, the band continued on with their show resulting in a myriad of technical problems. Katatonia asks that everyone "keep an eye out for the guitars on pawn shops, Craigslist, eBay, etc. etc., and let us know immediately if they show up. Apologies go out to our fans in Minnesota for having to go through this." The stolen guitars were actually the ones to be given away through a contest at the end of the tour, and a picture of the guitars is published below. They are black Mayones Setius guitars, and were stolen along with the straps and wireless transmitters.
Unfortunately, I was not able to attend this show, but was anyone that was there have any comments to add to this? It's really sad that someone would do this, and it really puts a black mark on Station 4. If this show proceeded like every other show I've seen at Station 4, Katatonia likely had their gear sitting in the North corner of the room across from the bar (near the women's restroom).
Brian from Cold Colours added a comment to the Blabbermouth article stating that "I am working with the tour and local promoters in finding out any information about the missing guitars. If anyone knows anything please contact myself or Nathan (MN promoter) [SwordLord Productions]."
Brian's email: coldcolours [at]
Nathan's email: PlazaGuy6ft5 [at]

St. Paul Included On Upcoming Rotting Christ Tour

The Greek black/death metal band Rotting Christ will headline a Spring 2011 North American tour that hits all regions of the US, including a show at Station 4 in St. Paul on Sunday, March 20. They will be joined by Holland's Melechesh, Poland's Hate, Abigail Williams, and Lecherous Nocturne. Rotting Christ will be supporting their recently released Aealo album. The complete tour itinerary is as follows:
March 9 - Springfield, VA, Jaxx
March 10 - Trenton, NJ, Championship Bar & Grill
March 11 - Rochester, NY, Montage Music Hall
March 12 - Manchester, NH, Rocko's
March 13 - Worcester, MA, The Palladium
March 14 - Farmingdale, NY, Crazy Donkey
March 15 - Montreal, QC, Petite Campus
March 16 - Toronto, ON, Mod Club
March 17 - Detroit, MI, Blondie's
March 18 - Cleveland, OH, Peabody's
March 19 - Chicago, IL, Reggie's Rock Club
March 20 - St. Paul, MN, Station 4
March 22 - Calgary, AB, The Republik
March 23 - Edmonton, AB, Starlite Room
March 25 - Seattle, WA, El Corazon
March 26 - Portland, OR, Hawthorne Theatre
March 27 - San Francisco, CA, DNA Lounge
March 28 - Anaheim, CA, Chain Reaction
March 29 - Hollywood, CA, Key Club
March 30 - San Diego, CA, Brick By Brick
March 31 - Mesa, AZ, UB's Bar
April 1 - Amarillo, TX, The War Legion Underground
April 2 - Tulsa, OK, The Marquee
April 3 - Ft. Worth, TX
April 4 - Austin, TX, Emo's
April 5 - Houston, TX, Walter's
April 7 - Tampa, FL, Brass Mug
April 8 - Atlanta, GA, The Masquerade
April 9 - Raleigh, NC, Volume 11
April 10 - Charlotte, NC, The Casbah

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Album Review Recap

There's a few bands coming to town yet in September whose latest albums I've previously reviewed. In case you missed them, here's a short recap. Click on the links to read the full reviews.
Revocation and Misery Index perform tonight, Thursday, September 16 at Station 4 in St. Paul as support to Despised Icon.
Swallow The Sun - New Moon (Spinefarm) - 9/10
Swallow The Sun's last performance in St. Paul with Finntroll and Moonsorrow on April 17, 2010 was reviewed here.
Swallow The Sun performs this Saturday, September 18 at Station 4 in St. Paul as direct support to Katatonia with Orphaned Land and Cold Colours.
Slash - Slash (EMI) - 7/10
Slash performs Thursday, September 23 at the Medina Entertainment Center in Medina.
Alation - Demo (Self-released) - 9/10 (updated here)
Alation's performance in Minneapolis with Echoterra on May 21, 2010 was reviewed here.
Alation performs Friday, September 24 at the Star Bar & Grill in Columbia Heights with Ugly Beauty and Bloodtrust.

CAIN Interview With Vocalist Jiggs Lee

As I scanned the fine print of an ad for the Mid-America Music (MAM) Hall Of Fame Induction Show in a local newsweekly a couple weeks ago, I was shocked to see Cain listed as a performing inductee. Could this indeed be the legendary 70’s hard rock band from the Twin Cities reuniting for a live show? Cindy from the MAM Hall Of Fame quickly informed me that, yes, this is true! To make this news even better, Cain wasn’t just going to jump up on stage for a song or two, but would perform a substantial 5-7 song set. By the end of the day Cain vocalist Jiggs Lee and I were in touch, and he graciously agreed to an email interview. This chat focuses on Cain’s upcoming reunion show and a discussion about plans for the release of archival material.
A brief recap of Cain’s history is in order, and an interesting, detailed biography can be found at the band’s official website ( Cain arose from the Twin Cities music scene in the early 70’s, and quickly hit the Midwestern US club circuit where they played alongside other, at the time, unknown bands such as Kansas, Cheap Trick, and Styx. They eventually signed with ASI Records, and released two albums: A Pound Of Flesh (1975) and Stinger (1977). Tours in support of the albums expanded Cain’s reach, but half the members split in 1978 and the band quickly fell apart.
Although many bands disappear and are forgotten, Cain was part of a group of underground 70’s bands that achieved revered cult status. People don’t pay hundreds of dollars for obscure albums without good reason. Monster Records (now Rockadrome) stepped up and reissued A Pound Of Flesh in 2003, which allowed Cain to be discovered by a new generation of 70’s rock fans. No less of a rock authority than Martin Popoff has praised Cain, saying in his amazing book The Collector’s Guide To Heavy Metal – Volume 1: The Seventies, “Cain deserve to be ranked right up there with Truth  And Janey as one of the most capable, ready-for-prime-time bands, toiling away, shining metal in hand, throughout America’s underground.” Popoff calls A Pound Of Flesh “a classy piece of work…innovatively arranged,” and praises the “tight, immediate drum sound and tone-rich guitars” and Jiggs Lee’s “huge, commanding, mid-to-high voice and the phrasing and style to make judicious use thereof.”
Cain will be inducted into the Mid-America Music Hall Of Fall and perform a special reunion show this Friday, September 17 at the Sheraton Bloomington Hotel in Minneapolis. Over 20 bands will perform at this three-day event; go to the event’s website or Facebook page for complete details.
Click photo to see more vintage pictures of Cain at their website.
Twin Cities Metal (TCM): What was your reaction to learning that Cain is to be inducted in the Mid-America Music Hall Of Fame?
Jiggs: I think that Dave (Elmeer, bass) and I were both humbled and flattered that we were to be included in the mix of talented players being inducted. Kevin DeRemer (drums) feels the same way. Depending on schedules, we actually might see Kevin at the event. He’s been quite busy lately working on a project in New York. (TCM note: Kevin is also the husband and manager of Grammy Award-winning singer and actress Melissa Manchester.)
TCM: How did the current version of Cain come together?
Jiggs: Once it was established that Lloyd Forsberg (guitar) and Kevin wouldn’t be able to attend or rehearse, Dave and I turned to the considerable talents of musicians with whom we’ve had the pleasure of performing with over the last couple of decades. Brad Shultz is a no-nonsense, straight-ahead drummer who we knew could drive the effort. Adding John Kast on guitar alongside Marc Partridge gave us the raw – yet technical – blending we were after to recreate the brilliance that Lloyd added to Cain.
TCM: What can fans expect from your show this Friday?
Jiggs: We’re prepared to unleash six tunes on the ears of those in attendance. The songs will range from selections from both A Pound Of Flesh and from Stinger with the addition of a live version of a tune that was to be headed for a third album. I’m particularly jazzed about how well Marc and John work together. There are nods to the original guitar parts as well as stretches for them to really show their own considerable talents.
TCM: What were the circumstances that led to the band breaking up in 1978-79? As I understand it, a third album was partially recorded. Any plans to release any of this unreleased material?
Jiggs: We were thinking past the limitations that were a part of the ASI Records contract and were preparing quality material that would help launch the band into a better situation with a new label. We needed financial assistance to realize that goal and couldn’t find it. It was a very disheartening realization for us to finally acknowledge that they call it “The Music Business” for good reason. The re-release of A Pound of Flesh by Rockadrome includes the unreleased cuts.
TCM: When did you first begin to realize that there was continuing interest in Cain, long after the band broke up?
Jiggs: I think it was when we were being courted by record labels – maybe six years ago - to release our stuff on CD. We were amused (and flattered) that someone would pay $400 for a pristine copy of our record on the collectibles market. We were pleased that there was still a viable market for something that we had created in the 1970’s. I’m absolutely tickled that people still enjoy it today as much as we did.
TCM: Are there any plans for Stinger to be reissued?
Jiggs: We’re putting together the last bits and pieces now to allow Rockadrome to issue it. I expect that some yet-to-be-released live stuff will be included as a part of that package.
TCM: Are there any plans for Cain to continue playing live occasionally? Do you ever get any offers to play any of the European festivals?
Jiggs: One day (show) at a time. I think that we’d all give serious consideration to continuing, but it’s best to cross those bridges as they arise. It would be fabulous to perform at one of the European festivals, but no invitations so far.
TCM: What are your plans for your next solo album? Any plans for Cain to record again?
Jiggs: There is a second Jiggs Lee album in the can. I think that release plans for Cain are uncertain at this point, though.
TCM: You also mentioned in our correspondence the existence of some unreleased live material – what information can provide about this?
You can pick up a CD of some fabulous live stuff on Friday night at the Hall of Fame show. Ward Monroe – ex-Cain Renaissance Man – has assembled it and has promised to have copies for any interested folks. This will include stuff from a live radio broadcast in Chicago as well as our show at the Minnesota State Fair Grandstand in 1977. At the State Fair show we shared the bill with Kansas. They were good friends of ours through shared experiences doing Chicago club dates, and we enjoyed splitting shows with them whenever they were in the area.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

CAIN To Reunite And Be Inducted Into Mid-America Hall Of Fame This Friday

Further information has now been obtained about legendary Minneapolis 70's band Cain reuniting for a performance this Friday, September 17 at the Mid-America Music Hall Of Fame Induction Show. Cindy from the Mid-America Music Hall Of Fame has confirmed that the lineup for this special performance will include vocalist Jiggs Lee, bassist Dave Elmeer, drummer Brad Shultz, and guitarists John Kast and Marc Partridge. Cain is scheduled to go on at 10:40 pm, and they will play five to seven songs. According to Cindy, the band is "very excited about playing again" and "they are having some fun with it."
This one-time Cain reunion is in honor of their induction into the Mid-America Music Hall Of Fame. Cain vocalist Jiggs Lee commented about the induction, "Now that you look at what you've done, you've managed to incentivize some really good musicians to come together to play some really good stuff." The Mid-America Hall Of Fame Induction Show takes place this Thursday–Saturday, September 16-18 at the Sheraton Bloomington hotel, and will feature an impressive lineup of 24 performing inductees, including Cain, The Lamont Cranston Band, The Rembrandts, The Electras, and Sounds Of Blackness. The non-performing honorees include Twin Cities concert promoter Sue McLean. For complete information about this event, visit the website or Facebook page for the Mid-America Music Hall Of Fame.
Cain was one of the heaviest bands out of the Midwest in the mid-70's, and they created quite a stir nationally with their two albums, A Pound Of Flesh and Stinger. Out of print until reissued by Monster Records (now Rockadrome) in 2003, A Pound Of Flesh is one of the most beloved and collectable cult metal/hard rock albums from the 70's. Their legend has only grown throughout the years, and notable metal critics such as Martin Popoff have long heaped praise upon their albums. To the best of my knowledge, Cain has not performed live since the late 70's so do not miss the opportunity to witness this legendary band!
UPDATE: I've been in contact with vocalist Jiggs Lee, and I'll have some exciting news in the near future about the release of some live Cain material.
UPDATE X2: Be sure to check out my recent interview with Cain vocalist Jiggs Lee:

SHINEDOWN To Embark On US Acoustic Tour

Shinedown has announced an acoustic tour entitled "Anything & Everything - An Acoustic Evening With Shinedown". Beginning on November 4 in Tampa, FL, the tour hits the Eastern half of the US with a stop in Minneapolis on Saturday, November 27 at the State Theatre. Tickets for the Minneapolis show go on sale this Friday, September 17 at 10:00 am CDT.
November 4 - Tampa, FL, David A. Straz, Jr. Center For The Performing Arts
November 5 - Charleston, SC, Charleston Music Hall
November 6 - Chattanooga, TN, Tivoli Theatre
November 8 - Richmond, VA, The National
November 9 - Charlotte, NC, The Fillmore Charlotte
November 10 - Washington, DC, Warner Theatre
November 12 - Hampton Beach, NH, Casino Ballroom
November 13 - Northampton, MA, Calvin Theatre & Performing Arts Center
November 15 - Albany, NY, The Egg
November 16 - Scranton, PA, Harry And Jeanette Weinberg Theatre
November 18 - Westbury, NY, Theatre At Westbury
November 19 - Montclair, NJ, Wellmont Theatre
November 20 - Atlantic City, NJ, Showboat Hotel & Casino-House Of Blues
November 22 - Wilmington, DE, Grand Opera House
November 23 - Youngstown, OH, Powers Auditorium
November 24 - Saginaw, MI, Heritage Theatre
November 26 - Davenport, IA, Adler Theatre
November 27 - Minneapolis, MN, State Theatre
November 29 - Indianapolis, IN, Murat Theater
November 30 - Milwaukee, WI, The Riverside Theater
December 4 - Springfield, MO, Gillioz Theatre
December 6 - Tulsa, OK, Osage Million Dollar Elm Casino
December 9 - New Orleans, LA, House Of Blues

SLIPKNOT Concert Receives Theatrical Screening On September 22

The June 13, 2009 performance of Slipknot at the Download Festival at Donington Park in Leicestershire, England will be screened in select American theaters on Wednesday, September 22. This full-length concert is featured on the upcoming DVD release, (sic)nesses: Live At Download, which will be released a few days later on September 28. In addition to the concert, (sic)nesses will include Audible Visions Of (sic)nesses, a 45 minute documentary of the All Hope Is Gone tour and four music videos. At this time there are three theaters in the Twin Cities that will be screening the concert - Carmike 15 (Apple Valley), Carmike Wynnsong 15 (Mounds View), and Carmike Oakdale 20 (Oakdale) - and one in outstate Minnesota (Carmike Stadium Cinema 6 in Mankato). The full list of American theaters screening the concert is below; check with your local theater for times. More theaters may be added so check out the film's official website ( for the latest screening information.
Arizona - Lake Havasu, UltraStar Lake Havasu 10
Arizona - Surprise, UltraStar Surprise Point 14
Arkansas - Fort Smith, Carmike 14
Arkansas - Little Rock, Rave RC Colonel Glenn 18
California - Anaheim, UltraStar GardenWalk 14
California - Apple Valley, UltraStar Apple Valley 14
California - Buena Park, Krikorian Metroplex 18
California - Hollywood, Mann Chinese 6 Theatres
California - Los Angeles, Rave 18
California - Monrovia, Krikoriran Monrovia Cinema 12
California - Oceanside, UltraStar Mission Market 13
California - Redlands, Krikorian Redlands Cinema 14
California - Riverside - UltraStar University Village 10
California - San Diego, UltraStar Mission Valley Cinemas
California - San Diego, UltraStar Poway Creekside Plaza 10
Colorado - Colorado Springs, Carmike Chapel Hills Mall 15
Connecticut - Hartford, Bow Tie Palace 17 Cinemas
Connecticut - Manchester, Rave TC Buckland Hills 18
Connecticut - Milford, Rave RC Connecticut Post 14
Connecticut - New Haven, Bow Tie Criterion Cinemas
Delaware - Dover, Carmike 14
Florida - Pensacola, Rave Bayou 15
Georgia - Atlanta, Studio Movie Grill Holcomb Bridge
Georgia - Columbus, Carmike 15
Illinois - Bloomington, Carmike Palace 10
Illinois - Champaign, Carmike Beverly 18
Illinois - Dekalb, Carmike Market Square 10
Illinois - Forsyth, Carmike Hickory Point 12
Indiana - Elkhart, Carmike Encore 14
Indiana - Ft. Wayne, Carmike 20
Indiana - Indianapolis, Rave Metropolis 18
Iowa - Johnston, Carmike Wynnsong 16
Kentucky - Louisville, Rave Stonybrook 20
Louisiana - Baton Rouge, Rave Mall Of Louisiana 15
Maine - Portland - Patriot Cinemas Nickelodeon
Maryland - Annapolis, Bow Tie Annapolis Mall
Massachusetts - Boston, The Regent Theatre
Massachusetts - Gloucester, Cape Ann Community Cinema
Massachusetts - West Springfield, Rave West Springfield 15
Michigan - Battle Creek, Carmike Lakeview 10
Michigan - Detroit, Emagine Canton
Michigan - For Gratiot, Carmike Birchwood Cinema 10
Michigan - Jackson, Carmike Plaza 8
Michigan - Kalamazoo, Rave Cityplace 14
Michigan - Saginaw, Carmike Fashion Square 10
Michigan - Traverse City, Carmike Horizon 10
Minnesota - Apple Valley, Carmike 15
Minnesota - Mankato, Carmike Stadium Cinema 6
Minnesota - Mounds View, Carmike Wynnsong 15
Minnesota - Oakdale, Carmike Oakdale 20
Montana - Billings, Carmike Shiloh 14
Montana - Missoula, Carmike 10
Nebraska - Omaha, Rave Westroads 14
Nevada - Las Vegas, Rave Town Square 18
New Jersey - Voorhess, Rave Ritz 16
New Mexico - Las Cruces, Allen Theatres Cineport 10
New York - Babylon, Clearview Babylon Cinemas
New York - New York, Clearview Chelsea Cinemas
New York - Schenectady, Bow Tie Movieland 6
North Carolina - Durham, Carmike Wynnsong 15
North Carolina - Fayetteville, Carmike Market Fair 15
North Carolina - Greenville, Carmike 12
North Carolina - Jacksonville, Carmike 16
North Carolina - Raleigh, Carmike 15
North Carolina - Wilmington, Carmike 16
North Carolina - Winston-Salem, Carmike Wynnsong 12
North Dakota - Bismarck, Carmike 8
Ohio - Beavercreek, Rave The Greene
Ohio - Cleveland Heights, Cedar Lee Theatre
Ohio - Columbus, Rave RC Polaris 18
Ohio - Sandusky, Carmike Plaza 8
Ohio - Toledo, Rave Franklin Park
Ohio - West Chester, Rave West Chester 18
Pennsylvania - Philadelphia, Rave University City 6
Pennsylvania - Pittsburgh, South Side Works Cinema
Pennsylvania - Wayne, Clearview Anthony Wayne Cinemas
South Dakota - Rapid City, Carmike 10
Tennessee - Madison, Carmike Wynnsong 10
Tennessee - Murfreesboro, Carmike Wynnsong 16
Texas - Dallas, Studio Movie Grill Dallas/Royal Lane
Texas - Edinburg, Carmike 20
Texas - El Paso, Carmike 16
Texas - Houston, Studio Movie Grill City Center
Texas - Hurst, Rave TC North East Mall 18
Texas - Tomball, Santikos Silverado 19
Texas - Tyler, Carmike 14
Texas - San Antonio, Santikos Mayan Place 14
Texas - San Antonio, Santikos Northwest 14
Texas - San Antonio, Santikos Silverado 16
Utah - Provo, Carmike Wynnsong 12
Utah - West Valley City, Carmike Ritz 12
Virginia - Charlottesville, Carmike 6
Virginia - Fairfax, Rave RC Fairfax Corner 14
Virginia - Richmond, Bow Tie Movieland At Boulevard Square
Virginia - Virginia Beach, Cinema Cafe Pembroke Meadows
Virginia - Winchester, Alamo Drafthouse Winchester
West Virginia - Morgantown, Carmike Morgantown Mall 12
Wisconsin - Eau Claire, Carmike Oakwood 12